Originally published in 18XEEM, April 2008, Issue 04
Do your designs have any functions/unique aspects to it?
Hmong Reinvented is a fashion line that represents and bridges the gap between being Hmong and being American. In my designs I use Hmong embroidery with western silhouettes. I want to make wearing Hmong clothes fashionable. My motto is: Forget about the layers, the heavy money belts and bags. Keep it simple and chic.
How long does it take you to finish one piece?
Depending on how complicated the garment can get and how much time I have to work on it, it could take a few days up to a month.
Center for Hmong Arts and Talent’s (CHAT) 7th Annual Hmong Arts & Music Festival is being held on Saturday, August 16, 2008 at the Western Sculpture Park on Marion Street in Saint Paul.
The Festival is a celebration of culture for all ages and has become a tradition of sorts for the neighborhood and for the growing Hmong community in the Twin Cities. Last year, there was an estimated 3,000 people that attended. We only anticipate even more people this year.
“Where do the Hmong come from?” “Do the Hmong have a country of their own?” These are questions that are commonly asked of Hmong people. And, although the curiosity in these questions have a legitimate innocence to them, this notion of whether or not there is a Hmongland raises questions regarding how Hmong people are perceived both by Hmong and non-Hmong people. How does a population without a recognized country identify itself? How do residents of a displaced community respond to definition inside and outside of the community? These questions force an inward exploration of identity and worth for many Hmong and a world of wonderment for non-Hmong.
CHAT asks artists to consider these questions and to share how they imagine what HMONGLAND would be like. CHAT invites the community to witness HMONGLAND at the 7th Annual Hmong Arts and Music Festival on August 16, 2008.
HMONGLAND will be a celebration of the arts with original paintings and sculptures in the Visual Gallery, dance and musical performances on the Main Stage, live art and theatre, a showcase of artwork by youth at the Art Saves Us Tent, a cake decorating contest with Cakes By Fhoua, games, vendors, resources and food! Come as an artist, patron, vendor, enthusiast, tourist or resource – it’s a good time for all ages.
For more information, please contact: Kathy Mouacheupao at 651-603-6971 or email@example.com
CHAT is a non-profit organization with the mission to nurture and develop Hmong artists to enhance the community.
In this painting, it was the first time I wanted to represent some creatures I had seen on a Vietnamese tapestry. These two tigers or dragons seem to appear from the background itself. The gesture of Mâ is simple – she ties up her belt – but the hanging up emphasizes her surprise. It is like she is in front of a door leading to another world, full of colors and swirls where those two creatures are coming from. Mâ is not afraid because she somehow knows that they only want to play and see what her world looks like. – Ixia
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Art is not always what we traditionally think of it as. In fact, art comes in many different forms. It is broad in its medium and canvas. Art is as subjective as it is objective. It is the use of ”skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.” (Encyclopedia Britannica) For centuries, art has been a preservation of culture, of events, and of things. Art is an individual’s own passion of expression.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: Art & Poetry
In our first issue ever, we featured exclusive artwork and words by Kao Lee of Folklore Studio, a talented artist who is inspired by the culture and history of the Hmong. To learn more about this artist, or to buy some of the prints featured in our magazine, visit http://folklorestudio.com.
Additionally, we featured some of our Editor’s personal poems in this issue that relate to the everyday life and experiences as a Hmong individual. For the first and only time ever, these poems speak of the comforts and traumas of being Hmong.
SUBMIT YOUR WORK!!! We’re always looking for talented artists and writers to contribute to this section. If you’ve written a poem or created a piece of artwork that was inspired largely by the Hmong culture, then please send them to us and we’ll publish them in our future issues! We enjoy knowing that we’re not the only ones crazy about our culture! Email us your samples to firstname.lastname@example.org OR use this easy form to upload your file!